Bobcat sightings in Collierville? Officials wouldn't be surprised | Environment
(WMC-TV) – The town of Collierville has beautiful trails that wind along the edges of town. It is not uncommon for people take a leisurely walk or jog on one of the trails after clocking out for the day.
As a fairly new Collierville resident, I recently discovered the greenbelt. I have been running the Noconnaha Creek trail before the sun goes completely down each evening.
Tuesday night, I was stopped on the trail by a woman walking her dog. She asked me if I walked the path very often and whether I had ever seen a bobcat on the trail. I said ‘No’ but having grown up in the great outdoors, I offered some advice I learned from my camping adventures.
“If you see one, I hear you are supposed to be extremely loud,” I said.
The woman then told me a few other women told her they encountered one on their walk along the same twisting trail.
As soon as I got home, I tweeted out a message that I heard there was a bobcat sighting on the path.
Another Collierville resident responded, “My wife saw a bobcat by St. George's in Collierville a couple of weeks ago.”
After I brought this up in our morning news meeting, fellow Collierville resident Andrew Douglas told me he spotted a bobcat in the wee hours of the morning on his way into work a while back.
These eye witness accounts prompted me to send an e-mail to the Collierville Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Chip Petersen.
He quickly returned my email.
“I have not heard of any reports of bobcats however it would not surprise me if they were not in the Noconnaha Creek bottom or the Wolf River bottoms,” said Petersen.
Even though no sightings have been officially reported, Collierville officials said the area is still very rural and wildlife in the neighborhood is not uncommon.
People walking the trails need to be cautious and aware of their surroundings. If you do encounter a bobcat or wild animal of the like, you should never run away. According to fish and game, running from the animal could trigger a pursuit response.
Fish and game officials offer the following tips to consider should you encounter a predatory animal:
- Stay calm.
- If the animal has not yet seen you, calmly leave the area.
- If it has seen you, avoid making eye contact and back away from the animal slowly, giving it plenty of room to escape from you.
- Do everything in your power to appear larger. Raise your arms open, if you are wearing a jacket, open it up. If you have children with you, pick them up to protect them and make yourself look bigger. Convince the animal you are dominant and a danger to it, rather than its prey.
- Watch for young. Coming between an animal and its young can be dangerous.
- If a predator does attack, fight back. Use anything you can get your hands on, such as rocks, sticks, backpacks.
- Animals like bobcats are most active before dawn and after dusk.